Only three and a half months before the fateful flight accident that killed the band members, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed this legendary concert in Oakland, California on July 2, 1977.
Only three and a half months before the fateful flight accident that killed Skynyrd band members Steve Gaines, his sister, backing singer Cassie Gaines (of the Honkettes), and also lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed this legendary concert in Oakland, California on July 2, 1977.
Even though this is just a partial documentation of the performance, two of the three songs are most likely the tracks you might skip to anyway: "Sweet Home Alabama" along with the popular closing song which has influenced legions of concert-going fanatics to make countless ironic requests throughout the years, "Free Bird." The very first song is an excerpt of a normal Skynyrd live show cover, Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas." The band takes at least six minutes to expand their legs with this version of "Sweet Home Alabama." The tune was released three years earlier as a reaction tune to the Neil Young songs "Southern Man" as well as "Alabama," that was equally critical of Southern American politics. However, according to a few stories, Van Zant was dressed in a Neil Young t-shirt during the time of this show. The program is closed with "Free Bird," which by several fans' opinions is only rivaled by Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" as the most epic closing tune in rock history.
Allen Collins controls the majority of the five-minute solo in the video, as Gary Rossington performs the "bird-chirp" electric guitar parts, that are not on the original recording, along with the slide work on the beginning riffs. Billy Powell also performs a masterful piano solo which is exclusive to the live show.
After Lynyrd Skynyrd released the multi-platinum "Street Survivors" in October of 1977, the band's framework would be simply ravaged by the accident of their personal Convair 240 that took the lives of three band members, along with the pilots and also assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick. The incident wounded every other member, with the exception of Honkette, JoJo Billingsley, who was at home with her kids. She had allegedly begged the group to stop using the aircraft after dreaming of such an accident.
Band Members In The Video:
Ronnie Van Zant - vocals
Allen Collins - guitar
Gary Rossington - guitar
Steve Gaines - guitar
Artimus Pyle - drums
Leon Wilkeson - bass
Billy Powell - piano
Cassie Gaines - vocals
Jo Billingsley - vocals
Leslie Hawkins - vocals
Credit: Lynyrd Skynyrd videos.
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